While you could cut out all dark-colored foods and drinks from your diet, most people opt for dental treatments instead. You brush your teeth with whitening toothpaste, follow your dentists' instructions and many people choose to go through professional whitening procedures.
Cosmetic dentistry can help you to safely whiten your teeth in a very short amount of time with far more effectiveness and reliability than over-the-counter solutions.
When you're considering professional whitening, it's not unusual to wonder how this procedure is going to play out. Most people imagine a single concentrated procedure but the majority of professional teeth whitening actually happens at home with your dentists' support.
The Two Types of Teeth Whitening
There are two ways you can go about whitening your teeth with the help of your dentist, often combined for the best possible effects.
The first is a super-charged visit to your cosmetic dentistry office where you will spend about an hour in the chair and can significantly whiten your teeth without weeks of commitment.
The second method, usually paired with the first, is at-home treatments with custom dental trays. These should be used a few hours a day or while you sleep for best results.
Zoom! In-Office Whitening
The Zoom! In-office method for whitening teeth is very popular and can be done alone or along with nightly treatments at home. When you come in for Zoom teeth whitening your appointment will likely start with a normal teeth cleaning to make sure you and your dentist are working with just the teeth, not what you ate for breakfast.
After your cleaning, the dentist will treat your teeth with a hydrogen peroxide whitening gel and then applies a bright UV light. The bleaching gel reacts to the UV light, intensifying the whitening effect which is why the in-office procedure is so effective as a one-time treatment or to kick-start your home whitening.
After 15 minutes, your dentist will re-apply the gel, and again after another 15 minutes creating a total of 45 minutes of whitening treatment.
You will need to hold the light device between your teeth during this time. Immediately after your treatment, your teeth will be treated with a sensitivity-reducing fluoride past-gel to manage the tooth sensitivity that is a common response to whitening.
At-Home Whitening with Custom Trays
Many people who care about whitening their teeth are familiar with the idea of whitening gel in tooth trays, but over-the-counter treatments are significantly different from what your cosmetic dentist can provide.
Your dentist will take a custom mold of your teeth and provide trays that fit your teeth perfectly along with medical-strength whitening gel that is more powerful than the packaged alternatives. This makes it easier, more comfortable, and more efficient to whiten for a few hours at home while watching television, doing chores, or sleeping.
At-home whitening usually takes no more than two weeks to see the results you're looking for. Results may be even faster if you choose to combine an in-office session with at-home treatments.
After two weeks of home whitening, you can check back in with your dentist for further advice or skip the follow-up if you are fully satisfied and not experiencing any additional sensitivity.
Choosing the right cosmetic dentistry solutions for you is an important first step to reinventing your smile. Whether you're whitening for an event, in preparation for further dental work, or just to look your best, we're here to help with all your teeth whitening needs.
For more information about how teeth whitening works and what you can expect, contact us today!